A Page of Madness - 1926 - Teinosuke Kinugasa




Directed by Teinosuke Kinugasa

Released in 1926


Storyline: Teinosuke Kinugasa - Kurutta ippeji, is a silent film product of an avant-garde group of artists in Japan known as the Shinkankakuha (or School of New Perceptions) who tried to overcome naturalistic representation.




The film takes place in an asylum, in the countryside. Although cut together in an ever maddening maelstrom, the film loosely tells the story of the janitor of the asylum. His wife is one of the patients, whom he tries to see using the set of keys to the gate. One day, their daughter arrives at the asylum to tell her parents about her plans for the wedding date. This sets off a number of subplots and flashbacks which stitch together the family history.




Outside while talking to the guard's young son, she discovers the truth that her father is working as a janitor in the asylum. The daughter had only been aware that he was only living in the asylum to be close to her mother, but unaware in the nature of his job. While alone with him, she confronts her father for not telling her the truth of his job. This prompts him to confess that he will be the only one to attend her wedding and won't bring her mother. The janitor reveals that doesn't want his daughter to see the degenerative state of her mother's mindset.




One night, the janitor attempts to get his wife out of the asylum to attend their daughter's wedding. While fighting through the patients and doctors trying to stop him, the truth of why she's a patient at the asylum is revealed. One year ago, the wife suffered a mental breakdown and assaulted her daughter's fiancé in a form of disapproval. She demanded her to come back and the janitor had to restrain his wife. This led to him admitting her to a mental asylum. After the doctor is killed, the janitor eventually comes back to his senses. As he leaves, the janitor accidentally drops his set of keys to the gate, which one of the doctors picks up from the ground.




The next day, the janitor gives out masks to his wife and the other patients. He returns to work mopping the floors and when he finally decides to visit his wife again in her cell, he realizes that the doctors have taken the keys he dropped on the ground and the gate is locked to prevent another situation again. As the janitor leaves to resume working, he realizes things are better off this way and that his wife needs to be away from him.